Maryland Court of Appeals Holds Confession of Judgment Executed in Connection with Past-Due HOA Fees Was Unenforceable

In a split decision, the Court of Appeals of Maryland recently held that the plaintiff homeowners’ association (the “HOA”) could not enforce a confession of judgment executed by a homeowner relating to her past-due HOA fees, finding that it violated Maryland consumer law and mandated the dismissal of plaintiff’s action.  See Goshen Run Homeowners Ass’n, Inc. v. Cisneros, No. 3, 2020 WL 415404 (Md. Jan. 27, 2020).  In the case, defendant purchased a home in plaintiff’s development.  

New York Federal Court Holds Title Agent Entitled to Professional Liability Coverage Despite Pre-Policy Subpoena

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York recently granted a title agent’s motion for summary judgment regarding a professional liability insurer’s duty to defend the agent, despite the fact that the agent was served with a subpoena before the liability insurer issued the policy.  See Protective Specialty Ins. Co. v. Castle Title Ins. Agency, Inc., 2020 WL 550700 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 3, 2020).

Colorado Federal Court Grants Title Insurer’s Summary Judgment Motion, Finds There Is No Coverage for Monetary Set-Off Claim

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado recently granted a title insurance company’s motion for summary judgment and found that there was no coverage under a title insurance policy for a neighbor’s monetary set-off claim against the insured regarding a disputed strip of property.  See Cherry Hills Farm Court, LLC v. First Am. Title Ins. Co., 2019 WL 6682835 (D. Colo. Dec. 6, 2019).

New York Court Holds Creditor Law Firm Can Pursue Guarantor Without First Pursuing Primary Debtor

The New York Supreme Court, New York County, recently held that the law firm could pursue the guarantor of payments due under its retainer agreement with a client without first pursuing the client herself, but that there were issues of fact on the amounts due to the firm.  See Aronson Mayefsky & Sloan, LLP v. Toboroff., 151038/2018 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Jan. 6, 2020).  

Seventh Circuit Finds That Inclusion of “Time Sensitive Document” on Outside of Debt Collection Envelope Violates FDCPA

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently held that a debt collector’s inclusion of the phrase “TIME SENSITIVE DOCUMENT” on the outside of a debt collection letter violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).  See Preston v. Midland Credit Mgmt., Inc., 2020 WL 290451 (7th Cir. Jan. 21, 2020).  In the case, plaintiff received a letter from the defendant debt collector, and the envelope included the phrase “TIME SENSITIVE DOCUMENT.”  

Idaho Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal of Lender’s Claims Against Title Company and Holds Non-Judicial Foreclosure Extinguished Underlying Debt

The Idaho Supreme Court recently held that a lender’s claims against a title company should be dismissed because the lender’s full-credit bid at a non-judicial foreclosure extinguished the underlying debt, and the lender therefore had no damages to allege.  The Court further found that there could be no negligence claim because there was no relationship between the parties.  See First Bank of Lincoln v. Land Title of Nez Perce Cty., Inc., 165 Idaho 813 (2019). 

New Jersey Federal Court Holds Rooker-Feldman and Entire Controversy Doctrines Did Not Apply to Post-Foreclosure Action, but That Plaintiff Still Failed to State a Claim

The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey recently held that a post-foreclosure action alleging claims under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) were not barred by the Rooker-Feldman or entire controversy doctrines, but that these claims nonetheless should be dismissed for failure to state a claim.  See Mensah v. Manning, 2020 WL 91089 (D.N.J. Jan. 8, 2020).

Sixth Circuit Holds That Debtor’s Anxiety Caused by Receiving Debt Collection Letters Was Insufficient to Confer Standing

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently held that the anxiety felt by a debtor upon receiving a dunning letter was insufficient to bring a claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).  See Buchholz v. Meyer Njus Tanick, PA, 2020 WL 35431 (6th Cir. Jan. 3, 2020).  In the case, plaintiff received two debt collection letters from the defendant law firm. 

New York Federal Court Grants Lender Summary Judgment on Strict Foreclosure Claim

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York recently granted a lender’s motion for summary judgment on a strict foreclosure claim against a junior lienholder not named in a foreclosure action.  See U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass'n as Tr. for Structured Adjustable Rate Mortg. Loan Tr., Mortg. Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2005-23 v. Haskins, 2019 WL 6888654 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 18, 2019).